HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Restaurant owners in Houston's Asiatown are getting ready for Christmas, their busiest day of the year.
"Every year on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and then New Year's Eve and New Year's Day," said Cori Xiong, the owner of Mala Sichuan Bistro. "Business usually doubles."
At Mala Sichuan Bistro, the extra business matters. Several restaurants have closed in Houston this year due to the pandemic, and Asian restaurant owners have been forced to respond to nasty and untrue rumors.
"There was a lot of finger pointing and mistrust in the beginning, and then lots of rumors surrounded us as well," Xiong said. "We got hit first and the hardest, but then we had to find a way to adjust and adapt quickly."
Employees all around Asiatown are working extra hours, hoping the holiday rush will make up for revenue lost this year.
"I have some regulars that have been with us for 10 years," said Gilbert Fung, the owner of Fung's Kitchen. "This year they're like, 'Hey Gilbert, we're going to come get take out. Is that okay?' We're like, 'Absolutely!'"
"We love Chinese food. Secondly, we love to support local business," said customer Kang Henson. "We love our country. We love our state."